Has your bank increased fees related to your checking or savings accounts? According to a recent blurb in Money Magazine, banks have turned to account maintenance fees, overdraft fees, etc. in an attempt to make up for recent losses in other areas.
“Recently, Bank of America boosted maintenance fees on certain checking accounts, Wachovia doubled its overdraft transfer fee, and Citibank raised foreign-transaction fees on debit cards.”
According to Bankrate’s Greg McBride, banks with the largest market share in your area are the most likely to increase fees. Thus, you can (hopefully) avoid trouble by using small, local banks or credit unions. Of course, you give up some convenience with a local outfit, as they have fewer ATMs, etc.
In our case, switching just isn’t worth the trouble — at least not yet. We use Bank of America for all of our local banking needs, and have yet to pay a fee. Despite all the negativity toward banks like BofA, we’ve found them to be both competent and convenient.
Sure, we don’t earn any interest on our checking account — this is effectively a fee — but we keep our balances there relatively low. In fact, we keep the bulk of our savings in an online savings account, though our BofA Money Market Account actually pays a decent rate.
What about you? Do you bank with one of the “big boys”? Have you seen a recent uptick in fees? Have you ever thought about switching to a different bank?